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John Leguizamo Thinks Subway Dancers Are ‘the Bomb’

Name: John Leguizamo
Age: 50
Neighborhood: Central Village. "They call it the Gold Coast, to be precise."
Occupation: Actor, currently filming The Nest with Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Maya Rudolph. On Monday, July 28, you can catch him in a free Summerstage performance of his acclaimed one-man play Ghetto Klown in Central Park. Find details here.

Who's your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
I have two people. The first is Miguel Piñero, a Puerto Rican poet and playwright back in the '70s. He's very important to all Latin writers and poets: putting out stuff that was so gritty, and so edgy, and using the vernacular. It was the beginning of hip-hop, in a way. My second one is Andy Berman, who runs the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. He's so incredibly selfless and altruistic, really trying to preserve all the history that we have downtown, and I just find him so classy when he goes out there to protest. Whereas I get so passionate that people stop listening to me, he still stays on point. It's about winning a debate not bullying somebody. I love that, it's so elevated. So unlike me.


Rich Guy Is Pretty Sure His Megayacht Counts As Philanthropy

Pharmaceutical gazillionaire Dennis M. Jones "was struck by an intriguing coincidence" upon upgrading his 151-foot yacht to a 164-foot, custom-built yacht named the D’Natalin IV, the Times reports. That coincidence? That the D’Natalin IV's $34 million price tag was roughly equivalent to the $34 million he'd given to charity since 2000.

Which got him thinking: $34 million on curing disease and helping the homeless, $34 million on "high gloss raised panel walnut cabinetry and inlay stone floors" for a floating mansion. What's the difference, really?


Pope Francis’s First U.S. Visit Will Be to New York’s Biggest Suburb

Philadelphia. Save the date: The trip will take place just over a year from now, according to the city's Archbishop Charles J. Chaput. The head of the Catholic Church has committed to attending the World Meeting on Families, which will be held in September 2015 in Philly, though an official confirmation is expected just six months before the conference. You’ve got an early warning, bishops — hide your vacation homes, hide your bling.

Is Amazon’s Free Ride Over?

For years, every quarter of Amazon earnings has played out in roughly the same way: The company reports a double-digit percentage increase in revenue, coupled with a small-to-medium net loss, and the stock market loves it. Amazon seems to flout basic rules of investor psychology; most stockholders would freak if a company with $10 billion-plus in quarterly revenue failed to turn a profit, but Amazon loyalists trust Jeff Bezos's long-term vision. They assume that in lieu of making profits, Amazon is building new warehouses, developing drones, swallowing the competition, and in all ways becoming an unstoppable empire. Then, they figure, the real moneymaking will begin.

But Amazon's charm may be wearing off.


BuzzFeed Has Itself a Serial Plagiarist

In the first major ethics scandal of the Serious BuzzFeed era, the work of viral politics editor Benny Johnson — best known for posts like “The Story of Egypt’s Revolution in ‘Jurassic Park’ Gifs” — is currently under review after numerous examples of plagiarism were highlighted by pseudonymous bloggers. Following the first three examples from @blippoblappo and @crushingbort demonstrating, at best, very sloppy sourcing (of Yahoo Answers, no less), the articles in question were “updated with proper attribution,” and BuzzFeed editor Ben Smith told Gawker, Benny Johnson is one of the web’s deeply original writers, as is clear from his body of work.”

But with another batch of examples pointed out this morning, Smith changed his tone and said in a statement, “There are three serious instances of plagiarism in this post. We're reviewing Benny's work.”


How Obama Both Has, and Has Not, Reduced Inequality

“Don’t think Obama has reduced inequality? These numbers prove that he has.”

It’s a catchy headline from the Washington Post, and a common-sense reading of it would suggest that President Obama has managed to narrow the once-yawning gap between the haves and the have-nots. But here comes the tricky bit: President Obama has reduced inequality, but inequality has not fallen during his presidency.


G Train to Cause More Trouble Than Usual for Greenpoint Residents

Residents of Greenpoint and Long Island City won't have to complain about the G train's slowness and crowdedness for the next five weeks — because it won't be stopping in their neighborhoods at all. (Cue the Joni Mitchell.) From 10:30 p.m. on Friday until September 2, G service will be shut down between Nassau Avenue in Brooklyn and Court Square in Queens so the MTA can finally repair some lingering damage from Hurricane Sandy. Service between Church Avenue and Nassau Avenue will operate with the same semi-regularity riders have come to expect from the city's most maligned subway line.


Sex, Lies, and Cooperstown: How a Pulp Novel Started a Riot in America’s Baseball Mecca

I first heard about The Sex Cure in 1991 when I was 13 years old and my family had recently moved from Dallas to the picturesque, upstate village of Cooperstown, New York. Older adults there would make occasional, hesitant reference to a novel, published decades earlier, that revealed the town's secrets under a thin fictional veil, but refused to say more. I got the sense that it had disrupted a lot of lives and caused a lot of pain — but that there was also a very interesting story there. The problem was figuring out what it was. It took me until 2005 to track down a copy of The Sex Cure — if you can find one on eBay now, expect to pay up to $500 for a paperback that once sold for 50 cents. Over the course of years, I pieced together the details of the scandal by talking to longtime residents, searching through microfilm and old lawsuits, and digging up newspaper clippings. Cooperstown, as all but a few people had forgotten, was once at the center of one of the best literary sex scandals of the 20th century.

"Some people named in the novel packed up and left town." »

Screen Names, Some DNA, and a Skateboard: The Brooklyn Bridge White Flag Investigation Is Inching Along

“Many of the city’s best and brightest investigators” — including detectives from homicide, counterterrorism, intelligence, transit, and four different precincts — have yet to crack the case of the crew who strung two bleached American flags atop the Brooklyn Bridge. While the stunt does not appear to have been terror-related, it could have been, so the NYPD is taking the breach pretty seriously. Which just makes it more sad that they haven’t caught anybody yet, considering the leads they do have point to some punk kids, not Ocean’s 11–style masterminds.


The Best Moments From the de Blasios’ Dreamy Trip to Italy

As the world continues to crumble and the week winds down, so does Bill de Blasio's break from it all, an eight-day trip across his ancestral homeland. But the mayor, his wife Chirlane, daughter Chiara, and teenage son Dante made the most of their visit to Italy, having spent the week waving from balconies in Rome (and pretty much anywhere else there was a balcony), boating off the coast, devouring pizza (by questionable means) in Naples, and soaking up the adoration of thousands who really, really love that final vowel in their last name.

Thanks to the hordes of reporters and photographers following their every move, it felt like we were with New York City's first family pretty much the whole time. The least we could do was make them a vacation photo album.


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